Mount Antero is a 14,268 feet mountain located in the San Isabel National Forest south of Buena Vista, CO. It is snuggled between two of Colorado’s other fourteeners: Mount Princeton and Mount White. Primary activities include four-wheeling, hiking, backpacking, dirt bike riding, backcountry camping, and hiking with dogs. To get to the trailhead you take 285 south from Buena Vista and then take 162 west just past the Alpine town entrance on the right side of the road to the trailhead on the left side of the road. There are a couple of extended shoulders on the road for free parking. The trailhead is approximately 9,400 feet above sea level. The trail is named CR-272 and is heavily used by four-wheelers and off-roading SUVs. Cell phone service was not available.
As you can see in the following pictures, the trail grade is a steady up-hill climb with very few spots of level ground. For the first three hours of hiking up to the tree line, the trail is wide and moderately difficult. As a result, this trail is heavily trafficked because it is friendly to four-wheelers, off-roading SUVs, and hikers.
Crossing Baldwin Creek
After an hour and half of hiking, we reached the Baldwin Creek crossing and an elevation of 10,800 feet. From here, you can choose not to cross the creek and instead head to Baldwin Lake. However, in order to continue climbing Mount Antero, you must cross this creek. Even on a hot July day, Baldwin Creek was painfully cold on our bare feet. At this point in the hike with fatigue and having to the cross stream, we were wishing that the dogs were carrying some the weight using dog packs.
Reaching the Tree Line
After three hours of hiking, we reached the tree line and an elevation of approximately 12,000 feet. The following three pictures (in order) show us approaching the tree line, our picnic view to the south, and our picnic view to the north.
Continuing to the Peak
Based on our conversation with hikers coming down from the peak, we estimate that from the tree line we would have needed to hike two more hours on a strenuously difficult switchback trail to reach the peak. On this day with two dogs and a sixteen month old baby in tow, we chose not to continue to the peak. Lots of people using SUVs and four-wheelers reached this point and even farther before being forced to hike to the peak. It took us two and half hours to return to the trailhead. The following picture shows the next stretch of trail heading to the peak which quickly switch backs to the right behind the trees.
In sum, this was an amazing challenging and rewarding hike. An easier hike nearby is Grizzly Lake.